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Survey a Tribute to Exporters

Hon Pete Hodgson
Minister for Economic Development

15 July 2008 Media Release
Survey a Tribute to Exporters

Economic Development Minister Pete Hodgson today welcomed the positive expectations of exporters as reported in the latest Export Barometer, commenting that the survey was both a tribute to the 350 exporters who participated in it and a vote of support for both government policy and the role of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.

“Exporters are expecting a strong performance next year,” Pete Hodgson said.

” Exports over the Tasman have not looked better for a generation.

“The report confirms government is on the right track. Exporters say that they want marketing grants to help with exporting activities; this government has increased the Market Development Assistance Scheme increased several fold to more than $50 million annually.

“Exporters want market access; this government has secured a Free Trade Agreement with China and is in the process of negotiating with other countries,” he said.

“The report tells us that the cost of credit can negatively impact export sales. In April a government backed contract bond guarantee as well as a short-term working capital guarantee came into effect. “

Pete Hodgson said that the government’s business tax package had been designed to improve the productivity and profitability of exporters through a reduction in the company tax rate to 30%, a 15% R&D tax credit and changes to the taxation of international activity which would enable our exporters to compete more effectively.

“It is disappointing but unsurprising that agricultural and manufacturing exporters tick the box in favour of a change in government,” Pete Hodgson said.

“On the one hand exporters are as a group more likely to be natural National Party supporters -- although that doesn’t necessarily hold for their staff. On the other hand it is this government that has introduced, then increased, the market development assistance scheme as well as the Beachheads programme, the export credit office and much more besides.

“I think exporters would acknowledge that policy changes in the past nine years have made exporting that little bit easier. For the record all policy changes including the entire business tax package were opposed by the National Party in Parliament.

“Equally the survey shows that there is still much to be done to assist our exporters and skills development remains near the top of the list,” he said.


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